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Tyres !!! a word of warning

Total Posts: 2
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Posted: 5 years ago
The tyres on the van have suddenly developed cracks.
We only brought our 2006 Swift Conqueror 645 Lux in November last year from a dealer and believed it to have been checked to make sure everything was ok so I was shocked to find that the manufacturer date is 2005 !!!!

These must be the original tyres that came with the van !!! This means when the van was sold to me ,by a very reputable company,they where nearly 7 1/2 years old (2505 which if im reading this right means 25th week of 2005 the tyre was manufactured) and I was under the impression 5 years max and the tyres should be changed.

Well I phoned the dealer and he informed me that their is no legal obligation to change any tyre at any age. He is on the caravan committee with other top caravan dealers in the country and their was a 50/50 split with half changing them after 5 years and the other ,like my dealer not.
After great discussion,he said, the dealers that did change them are now not going too !!!! He said that he would only change them if they where 9 years old !! He also said you don't have to change your tyres after 5 years too.
So if this is the attitude of the dealers who work closely with VOSA then I can only say I am confused and shocked and can only imagine more caravan accidents with blown tyres is on the cards :-( Shocking :-(
So 4 Avon tyres here we come .
Total Posts: 190
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Posted: 5 years ago
Whilst it is not a legal requirement to change them after 5 years I would consider it good practise. They could be twenty five years old and still be legal by the letter of the law.... I would consider the company who sold you the van NOT to be a reputable as you think the are. Dealers should be more responsible.... It would be good to here from any dealers out there and get their views on this matter! -
Total Posts: 8
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Posted: 5 years ago
A blowout on a caravan tyre can do a lot of damage to the 'van as it disintegrates. You may not even know it has deflated or blown immediately as you do not feel it like a car flat tyre. Caravan tyres never wear out because you don't do the mileage, but they often get flat spots in winter because they are not rotated. Changing them at 5 years is good practice, and 7 years is really as old as you should let them go.
It is difficult to buy a tyre less than 6 months old due to the supply chain. Most are made in the Far East and come over by ship which takes 3 months or so before they hit the wholesalers. However they will have been in the dark mostly so should not be suffering UV deterioration.
Total Posts: 2
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Posted: 5 years ago
Believe me Ianbax the man who owns the dealership is considered a caravan guru and is a strong campaigner for MOT on caravans would you believe !!!! Even talking on a Norfolk radio station !!!! This is no micky mouse dealer we are lead to believe.and he and other so call reputable dealers seem to agree . It would be very interesting to see what other dealers feel if any are on here .
Total Posts: 190
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Posted: 5 years ago
As a strong campaigner for MOTs I wonder if that means more income for his dealership! I still consider there is a moral obligation.
Total Posts: 228
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Posted: 5 years ago
As an ex MOT inspector basically the Mot for a caravan would consist of lights, running gear, and bodywork if considered dangerous(thats to other people), I suppose gas bottle security could be an issue but if not installed when MOT tested then it would not matter,I honestly cannot see the need for a caravan MOT if serviced correctly.
As for the tyres, fit Tyron bands and a tyre pressure monitor(all of which I have) and please don't say the pressure monitor will not do anything for a blowout, a blowout happens for a reason and it usually comes from an increase in temperature which the monitor will warn you about, the rise in temp usually comes from a drop in pressure which again you will be warned about.
Tyres usually shred from being cut up by the rims when run flat, tyron bands prevent that from happening enough to be able you to stop and change wheels.
Cracks in tyre side walls are an MOT failure but if on a caravan only the police and possibly traffic wardens could pull you for them, but if you notice them get the tyre changed it's your responsability and your life possibly.
Total Posts: 3
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Posted: 5 years ago
I had a blowout at between 55 and 60 mph. Fortunately the tyre stayed on the rim and stopped safely, changed the wheel and carried on.
The tyre was 4 years 9 months old measured by the date on the sidewall. I estimate that it had been on the caravan (built in 2009) for just over 4 years. I had intended to replace the tyre at exactly 5 years from its marked date, but this beat me to it by 3 months.
The tyre had been checked for condition a month before, and pressures had been checked immediately before the journey.
There was no puncture (confirmed later by the fitter who put the new tyres on) - the tyre just let go.
One interesting point is that the tyre was made in China, and on the sidewall were the words "Trailer use only". This implies to me that the tyre was not of sufficient quality to be used on a commercial van (Transit).
So I immediately looked for the best price I could find (185/14 8PR). I noted that almost every tyre offered was made in the far east. And surprisingly only slightly cheaper than the Michelins that I actually bought (these are marked "made in France").
These are not the first Chinese tyres to have let me down. Our previous new caravan had to have 2 tyres replaced at 30 months from new due to cracking in the treads.
I must say that I am now more confident that I have got "proper" tyres on now.
Total Posts: 88
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Posted: 5 years ago
my interpretation of tyre degridation is that caravan tyres dont do a lot of millage so the tread hardly wears down. However with them being stood for a long time pressure is but on the tyre walls expecially where the tyre is in contact with the floor. I have two ways of increasing the life of the tyre and remaining safe. Firstly if you do not use the caravan during the winter and you cover it up take the wheels off and stand on winter wheels ( make sure you store your wheels in a dark place, i wrap them up in blankets and leave them in the garage ) secondly you can buy wheel stands which go under the wheels and prevent the tyre from getting a flat spot ( like wheels ramps but with a wheel shape in it )
I recommend Hancook tyres which arer specifically designed for caravans
Total Posts: 3
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Posted: 5 years ago
Since I had that blowout on Kargomax tyres which I have described above (tyres made in China) and now that I've got Michelin tyres on the caravan, I've noticed that the caravan is far more stable when being passed by coaches on the motorway. It also moves about a lot less in side winds.
So only now do I realise the vast improvement in sideways grip by fitting these tyres. For the past 25 years or so I've never bought cheap tyres for any of my cars as cheap tyres used to wear out in less than half the mileage of premium brands and so were a false economy.
Of course, very few caravan tyres actually wear the tread out, but cheap tyres for the caravan - never again, even if the caravan is new I'd change them. The extra stability on Michelins is unbelievable and I would never have believed the difference if I hadn't experienced it myself.
Total Posts: 18
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Posted: 5 years ago
Orangutang, just one problem with this, your caravan insurance companys may not like the wheels being taken off.
I'm with the Caravan Club Insurance and they told me that taking the wheels off and using winter wheels was not classed as secure, the caravan had to be fitted with the proper wheels and then fitted with an Alko lock on each axle otherwise my insurance would be void. Wheel shaped stands would then be needed.

In passed years I have raised the caravan up on to axle stands and have let the axles hang free this according to Alko lets the rubbers inserts regain there shape and will help maintain a longer axle life, as well as saving flat spots on tyres.
Total Posts: 122
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Posted: 5 years ago
My van came with Maxi- miler tyres though the tread was as good as new and according to the date of manufacture they were 6 years old, So I decided to renew as I suspected only one of the tyres side wall which was bulging more than the other but idententical pressures. Icould not get identical tyres to replace anywhere in the uk. I could get 13 ,s but not 14,s So after hours of research I decided to replace with Nexan,s of same size etc these are medium price tyres for comercial vehcles and had both fitted in my front drive for £120 all in that includes gas not air and removal of old tyres by E tyres, I asked fitter was there any way to test old tyre before removing ,he blew both tyres up to max pressure as stated on side wall first one reached pressure and held second one blew in side wall, the one I suspected in first place. He slashed other tyre with stanley knife. As my van is German I looked up on web the German version of independent trye test insitute They gave better test results for the Nexans than a large number of the so called luxury tyre with fancy names and prices. I test pressure a bout once a month or every time I go out with van so far I have not found the tyres have deflated in any way over two years from 60 PSI
Incidentally it is illegal for tyre workshops to sell or fit any new tyre over three years old from date of manufacture on side wall even part worns so beware ask to see tyres before fitted check dates.
Total Posts: 2
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Posted: 5 years ago
Further story and warning!!! I am also the owner of a German Caravan with a max weight of 1800kgs I suffered 2 blowouts in the first 3 years of ownership fortunately without any dire results (Thank you to Tyron Bands) These events made me look further into possible causes. To my amazement the tyres fitted to the caravan had a max load factor of 900kgs each this meant that if I was running at my max loading then both tyres were also on maximum load. I could not guarantee equal loading on each tyre so the possibilities of one being overloaded became obvious. I immediately replaced the tyres with uprated ones with a max load factor of 950kgs. No problems since.

Further item which may need to be considered by members. If you use a mover be careful when using it on gravel surfaces in particular as you may have clay or soil in the tyre treads. The clay picks up the gravel and if the mover roller pushes the gravel into the tyre this has caused one of my tyre treads to de-laminate. This problem was only noticed during the Annual Service when the wheel was removed and you could then feel a slight bulge in the tread. Again new tyre!!!
Total Posts: 155
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Posted: 5 years ago
No natter how you look at it if a dealer can get away with something then he will.
I wonder if you had checked the tyres and pointed out they were out of date for safety would he have them replaced.
Then again when you think about it new caravans can sit at a dealership for most of the year before being discounted and sold at the end of the year without the wheels being turned (flat spots).
Total Posts: 2
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Posted: 5 years ago
We had a tyre blow a few weeks ago. We were doing about 60mph and fortunately our tow vehicle is a 3 tonne Landcruiser, so rode the disruption with no difficulty (plus a Class 1 HGV driver at the wheel). Our caravan is a 2007 Sterling and when I mentioned this on the Swift forum was advised they had issues with the 2007 Matadors and there was a limited factory recall. Can't tell what we had on - the wall was destroyed, the spare is a Matador but not with the recall number, and the offside looks like a 2011 Chinese thing. There is a good article dated I think 2009 on the Caravan Club web site that advises replacement of tyres 5 years old. Better safe than sorry - at least we were in England, near home, and had done over 1000 miles in Europe during July/August.